European stocks were little changed after Italy cut its economic-growth forecasts and as investors weighed the possibility the region’s central bank might buy low- grade Greek bank loans. US index futures were also little changed, while Asian shares fell.
Greece’s ASE Index rallied the most among the markets in western Europe. Adidas AG rose 3.6pc after announcing a plan to return as much as 1.5bn euros ($1.9bn) to shareholders. Zalando SE advanced 5.4pc on its trading debut in Frankfurt. Orange SA fell 2.6pc as Bpifrance sold a stake in the company for 580m euros.
The Stoxx 600 Europe Index added less than 0.1pc to 343.19 at 9.30 am in London. The gauge climbed 0.6pc yesterday, completing its fifth quarter of gains that was the longest streak since 2006, amid optimism the European Central Bank will step up stimulus measures even as the Federal Reserve winds down its program. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures slipped less than 0.1pc today, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 0.4pc.
“There is a hope that tomorrow the ECB will unveil new measures to help markets and the European economy, particularly Greece,” Herbert Perus, who helps oversee $36bn as head of equities at Raiffeisen Capital Management in Vienna, said in a phone interview. “There is a big IPO in Germany today, Zalando, that went very well so far. This helps the overall European market